Comcast NBC-Universal deal closes

Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 12:51 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Comcast Corp has completed its takeover of NBC Universal, creating a $30 billion media behemoth that controls not just how television shows and movies are made but how they are delivered to people's homes. Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal triggered a change of ownership clause on Universal's Orlando, Fla.- amusement park that would allow Blackstone to sell its stake, potentially to Comcast.

Read more from Reuters as well as The New York Post.

Thursday, February 3, 2011 10:45 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

I find that most people who are against net neutrality don't truly understand what it means and call it a free market issue, as if there was a free market of internet access.


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Thursday, February 3, 2011 11:00 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Exactly.


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Thursday, February 3, 2011 5:57 PM

Wow, you're exceptionally good at underhandedly calling people names and kicking others in the nuts.

Less those who did not read the (now broken) original Reuter's link above get the wrong idea... The two Senator's most upset with this merger are Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described democratic socialist...and Al Franken Of Minnesota...the former Saturday Night Live Comedian. I labeled Bernie a "socialist" and Franken a "comedian." You will have to ask Jeff why he considers statements of fact as underhanded-nut kicking!


I found a fixed link to the original article here.


I thought the fact that I was responding to this specific article should be known less later in this thread I'm accused of upsetting the "tone."

Other hard righties supporting this merger, according to the original linked article...

  • Statements of support arrived late Tuesday from Sens. John Kerry(D-Mass.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), who separately praised the reviewsconducted by the Federal Communications Commission and Department ofJustice.
Though I would not be shocked to see either or both flip-flop once they realize how fired up their base is over this.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011 6:45 PM

Themost interesting (and telling) aspect for me is how each person handleswhat they feel is another's 'wrong' take on things. There definitelyseems to be trends in what one believes and how they tend view theother side or an opinion that differs for their own.

I thought this Gonch quote fit the bill since I'm labeled an underhanded nut-kicking name caller who hates democrats while simutaneously taking the same political position as John Kerry and Herb Kohl on a Comcast merger. I'd hate to see what I'd be labeled if I ever took a position that was actually out of the mainstream.

For the record... I believe in freedom. As such I support Comcast's right to buy whatever companies they desire as long as they comply with monopoly laws. I support NBC's right to accept a buyout. I support this for all American's. If Air America (are they still around?) decides to buy CBS and ABC tomorrow...I support their right to do such.

I think the FCC overreaches all the time. I think it is rediculous that the FCC and certain politicians use FCC licenses hostage to control content. Comcast should not have to gurantee more children's programs, etc in order to obtain a licence to run their business.

If Coasterbuzz had the means and resources to buy every other amusement website on the internet, I would support their right to do so. I would be mad to find out that the FCC/politicians or any other government agency tried to limit their freedom by making content demands. Could you imagine Uncle Sam telling Jeff...ok..."we'll approve this merger but you have to give Fiesta Texas more Front Page Coverage. Also, could you tone down all that Cedar Fair talk...?"

How in the heck did we get to the point in which American's accept that government has any legitimate claim as to what is and is not acceptable programming? Who in the heck decides what is acceptable?

And darn right...the last people I want telling me what is and is not acceptable programming is the comedian and the socialist. :) And I don't expect everybody to agree with me. If you like those two...fine. I don't. The difference is that I support the comedian/socialist's right to do whatever they want within the law. If they decide to buy every newspaper to spout their leftist views to the world, then more power to them. That is their God-given right by virtue of being Americans.
Unfortunatley, my welcoming attitude toward economic and content related freedoms is not reciprocated. Why? What are they afraid of? Turn the TV off and ignore Comcast if you don't like the merger. Support companies/content that you enjoy. What is so difficult about this? We have more news sources, options, delivery vehicles than at any time in our history. Enjoy it...instead of complaining about another American entity's right to economic and speech freedoms.

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Friday, February 4, 2011 12:31 AM
Jeff's avatar

I wish I could live in your moral black-and-white world where it's as simple as "don't watch it" and "let the market take care of it." However, if you studied even a little bit of history about the FCC, you'd understand the legal precedent and reasoning for its existence.

The reason that free speech was regulated on broadcast airwaves by the FCC was twofold. First, the spectrum occupied by broadcast signals is considered a public resource, and as such has always been subject to adhering to community standards. It's also a scarce resource, because there is only so much spectrum, and so many licenses available. John Q. Citizen can't just slap up a tower and jump on the air. The courts stood by this regulation time after time.

Unfortunately, Congress in the 90's got on a stupid deregulation for the sake of deregulation kick, and part of the outcome of that was the lift on ownership limits for radio and TV. There is no obligation to local community anymore, and actual local origination programming is practically gone from radio. There's no point in challenging licenses at this point, because it's argued that the scarcity phenomenon no longer exists, in part because of the Internet.

Which perfectly connects to the reason that this matters, but let's talk about the jurisdiction around cable and phone. Cable and phone is a natural monopoly, because of the extraordinary expense, and impractical issues with right-of-way, around building a parallel system in a community. They do exist, but it's relatively rare because you may never recover the cost of a competing a system, which would further put ROI at risk because of pricing competition. So given the natural monopoly, which introduces the ultimate scarcity argument, they've always been heavily regulated.

But phone and cable have not been treated equally. The phone companies have been forced for decades to offer access to their networks. In the old days, it was for long distance service. Later, it was for Internet access (DSL). The courts backed up this regulation as well.

The cable lobby has managed to completely avoid this kind of regulation, which is total crap. It's even bigger crap now, because they're offering Internet access and phone service. So what happens when this natural monopoly also decides what content to carry? What happens if they prioritize network traffic for their own content and services? You can't just suggest to switch to the phone company at that point, because they don't have access to the same content or services. What's free about speech where one giant entity controls which things you can see?

Think about it. It's not a simple issue.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, February 4, 2011 3:32 AM

Jeff said:
What's free about speech where one giant entity controls which things you can see?

I suspect the people with Aamilj's point of view believe it's perfectly ok for one entity to control what you see/hear, as long as that entity is a corporation and not the government. Personally, I don't see any difference between the two. Giving any one entity total control over content will always be a bad thing, no matter what that entity may be.

eightdotthree said:
I find that most people who are against net neutrality don't truly understand what it means and call it a free market issue, as if there was a free market of internet access.

You sure got that right. While I've encountered a few individuals who do actually understand Net Neutrality and still disagree with it, most of them just have no idea what they're talking about. Most of the time I find that people believe Net Neutrality is an evil program created by Obama to use our tax money to give free internet to poor people. Of course, these are generally the same people that can't be bothered with silly things like facts.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Friday, February 4, 2011 6:26 AM

CP Chris said:
I suspect the people with Aamilj's point of view believe it's perfectly ok for one entity to control what you see/hear, as long as that entity is a corporation and not the government.

Well said.


Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, February 4, 2011 7:25 AM
kpjb's avatar

Aamilj said:

For the record... I believe in freedom.

How patriotic.


Hi

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Friday, February 4, 2011 8:30 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I thought this Gonch quote fit the bill since I'm labeled an underhanded nut-kicking name caller who hates democrats...

For the record, I don't consider you someone who 'hates democrats', rather, someone who likes to argue with a bunch of coaster geeks regardless of what the arguement is...as long as you can put a political slant on it.

I honestly wonder if you believe in some of (if not a lot of) the things you preach, or if you're just doing it because you've found a niche site on the internet that hasn't booted you yet to argue with everyone, because you enjoy being Devil's Advocate. That the other 'staunch' right wingers on this site (who are all very respected and yet still preach opposing views often) don't come running in to back you up (when they definitely don't remain silent otherwise) is something I find quite interesting.


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Friday, February 4, 2011 8:41 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Seriously, other than the sometimes-out-there politics that I don't agree with, I'm cool with Aamilj. I just chose not to get involved in the arguments.

Now, that guy who is arguing over the hotels and whatever at Great Adventure is a different story.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, February 4, 2011 8:49 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I'm mostly staying out of this one, and didn't actually go any further as far as politics go because it's like talking to a brick wall with either of them on certain subjects, but I havethought from the begining and still think Aamilj is just here to argue politics regardless of the topic.


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Friday, February 4, 2011 9:11 AM
Vater's avatar

Raven-Phile said:
Seriously, other than the sometimes-out-there politics that I don't agree with, I'm cool with Aamilj. I just chose not to get involved in the arguments.

Same here. I personally don't care if he's here to argue politics if a thread's discussion takes a turn towards them. It's not like everything we discuss here is directly coaster-related. Other than the fact that NBC-Universal owns a couple parks in Orlando, the discussion in this topic has had zero to do with the amusement industry.

And I didn't really find his references to the two senators underhanded.

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Friday, February 4, 2011 9:23 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Vater said:

And I didn't really find his references to the two senators underhanded.

Me either, once I realized it was about the Senators. At first I thought he was talking about DJ and Tek because at one point Tek was the "armchair comedian" and he's called DJ a socialist at one time or another.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, February 4, 2011 9:38 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah, I couldn't care any less if someone calls a politician a name. I knew that the Comedian was Franken when that was said because he's a huge supporter.


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Friday, February 4, 2011 10:02 AM

Just to be clear...there has been a lot of talk in this thread about "Net Neutrality" but are we all in agreement as to what that means?

In a nutshell, it means that the network service provider should be nothing more than a network service provider. That is, your service provider, whether telco, ISP, wireless carrier, or CATV company, provides network access PERIOD. Their job is to, without prejudice, carry traffic from ANY content provider to you.

Some of the network service providers, most notably the wireless carriers and CATV companies, do not like this "dumb pipe" role because they want to offer their own "value added" services by providing their own content...and they would like to be able to deliver their own content at the expense of other providers' content. It would be like your ISP deciding to offer a CoasterTalk service, and throttling the bandwidth of CoasterBuzz in order to promote their own service instead.

Of course, the Comcast/NBC-Universal deal is in obvious potential opposition to the whole idea of Net Neutrality. In practice, the market usually wins, as we have seen with Time-Warner owning a large number of CATV networks and still carrying competitive product on their cable systems, and hopefully Comcast will do the same even though NBC-Universal owns a fair number of CATV networks as well. But it's more complicated now than it has ever been because Comcast is not merely a CATV provider, they are also a major ISP...and they have been caught in the past doing nefarious things with network traffic.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Friday, February 4, 2011 10:19 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

RideMan said:
In a nutshell, it means that the network service provider should be nothing more than a network service provider. That is, your service provider, whether telco, ISP, wireless carrier, or CATV company, provides network access PERIOD. Their job is to, without prejudice, carry traffic from ANY content provider to you.

Yes.

Right now there seems to be an issue with Verizon shaping traffic from YouTube. I have talked to a number of people in Pittsburgh who are having the same issue, YouTube is terribly slow, other video sites are blazingly fast. If I had dozens of options to choose from I wouldn't be too worried about net neutrality, but as it stands I have three options for internet access, Fios, Comcast Cable and satellite.


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Friday, February 4, 2011 10:26 AM

Yeah, the "traffic shaping" issue is what concerns me most. I recognize that ISPs need to "shape" or manage their traffic to a certain extent. However, that shouldn't be done on a site-by-site or data type basis, as it seems has been the case where "shaping" has been going on up to now (throttling torrents, for example).


Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, February 4, 2011 10:37 AM

eightdotthree said:
Yes.

Right now there seems to be an issue with Verizon shaping traffic from YouTube. I have talked to a number of people in Pittsburgh who are having the same issue, YouTube is terribly slow, other video sites are blazingly fast. If I had dozens of options to choose from I wouldn't be too worried about net neutrality, but as it stands I have three options for internet access, Fios, Comcast Cable and satellite.

And further still, the only "comparable" option would be Comcast, which in reality does not have what many would call competitive pricing. And in the few places where there is more than one viable option (satellite internet service is crap from the several examples I have personally experienced, almost as bad as dialup compared to even a 756k DSL), you are often locked into a duopoly and there is absolutely no hint of true competition between the two.

I don't understand why it has taken so long for the public notion of the ISPs and CATV providers to be dumb pipes and nothing more to come about.


Original BlueStreak64

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Friday, February 4, 2011 11:02 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah, I think we all agree with what Net Neutrality is.

and they have been caught in the past doing nefarious things with network traffic.

And that's why this scares me. People can say 'don't do this' or 'don't watch that' all they want, but until you've lived in an area where maybe Comcast or some other provider is your only choice (other than not having a service provider), then you don't understand how hard it can be to just accept this and go on.

I came from an area where there was one option for internet, one option for local television, one option for phone services (yeah, it was also the ISP), only one of just about any media provider. What if Frontier decided to throttle YouTube? My only options are to accept that or not have the service at all.

That's not really a 'choice'.

Now I have a couple of different choices, and I'm pretty sure that once my contract is up a year from now, I'm ditching TWC for somethign better. I didn't have that option a year ago.


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Friday, February 4, 2011 11:06 AM
rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:
First, the spectrum occupied by broadcast signals is considered a public resource, and as such has always been subject to adhering to community standards.

But the "free market" has historically (and perpetually) been quite poor at allocation of so-called public resources. If I decide to dump my trash in the river and you happen to be downstream - then you might need to have someone in a position of authority to advocate for YOUR clean water right....or you can swim and fish in my filth.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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